Uber-like Companies Set to Transform TruckingMobile Brokerage Will Haul in Billions
Uber-like mobile transport apps are getting bigger – literally! The San Francisco based transportation company has inspired many copycats with its peer-to-peer taxi like platform that connects local riders to drivers, and now has some companies shelling out millions to be coined Uber-for-trucking.
According to recent statistics, nearly 70% of all U.S. freight is moved by trucks. On this account, trucking has been coined “the lifeblood of America.” The industry is now short over 40,000 drivers despite the shrunken 5.3% unemployment rate. Although there is no official record of Uber’s plans to employ truck drivers, many copycat start-ups are digging into the untapped market. Unlike Uber’s unrivaled success, the mobile freight industry is projected to have stiffer competition with much higher demand and segmented solutions. Companies such as Cargomatic, Trucker Path and Internet Truckstop have already begun social-media publicity campaigns and business wars, in a race to become the official “Uber-for-truckers.” Cargomatic has propelled itself as front runner by raising $8 million to expand its platform; connecting local shippers to carriers via its mobile app. This would undoubtedly raise the income of truckers and create a more efficient solution for local business owners and shippers. Not to mention the fuel efficient routing could improve highway travel for motorists and reduce emissions.
Trucker Path has announced a notably higher $20Million Series A funding backed by Wicklow Capital of Chicago. Earlier this year the company launched Trucker Path Truckloads – a market place that connects truck drivers, freight brokers, logistic companies and B2B clients. Truck drivers are afforded more options and opportunities, opening the gateway for other non-traditional fleet managers to share in the mobile-brokerage profits. Today we face a record low of young drivers (21-25 year olds) attributed to varying factors such as pay and common interest. This has already dealt a serious blow to our economy given the high turnover rates. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello says, “Due to growing freight volumes, regulatory pressures and normal attrition, we expect the problem to get worse in the near term as the industry works to find solutions to the shortage.” The hopeful solution of mobile brokerage could attract young drivers, and lessen the gaps between large and small fleet owners, providing a universal win-win for everyone. Smaller companies like Internet Truckstop continue to focus on local transport via vans and mid-sized trucks. This leaves room for successful big players like Trucker Path and Truckstop to mobilize the stagnant big rigs and haulers that keep America moving.
Of course, like Uber, these start-ups will face many concerns driven by public skepticism and doubt which can be eradicated thorough testing and rigorous safety checks. Trucker Path touts that it has close to 300,000 active users, holding 20% of U.S. Class 8 drivers, with a projected growth rate of 20% per month. The future is knocking at our door step and gas pumps, bringing the first major innovation to truck freight since the 1980’s. As these milestones are reached more start-ups will continue to try their hand in mobile-freight and brokerage systems. This pleasant disturbance in the traditional trucking has already attracted many first class investors like UPS and Volvo.
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